If you’re new to our fair city, you’ve no doubt been hearing a lot about the infamous Dubai summer heat. The good news is that it’s not quite as bad as everyone says. The bad news is that it’s still pretty bad. And the worst news is that it means waving farewell to the city’s outdoor venues for the season. Some, such as Sanctuary’s terrace, are closing this week; others, such as 360° and Barasti, will keep going for a little longer. But there’s a big ticking clock over everyone’s heads, which means now is the time to go all out.
That’s exactly what Barasti is planning this weekend, with a mini-festival showcasing some of the city’s best DJs and live acts. Barasti and the other bars will continue their normal operations when the weather cools, of course, but this could be one of your last chances to party outdoors before it’s just too sweaty.
On the beach (5pm-3am)
Headlining the Beach Festival with a post-sundown set are UK dance music pioneers Utah Saints, who produced some of the most interesting dance tracks of the ’90s. We’re sure you recall their early ’90s hits ‘Believe in Me’, ‘What Can You Do for Me’ and, of course, ‘Something Good’, which sampled Kate Bush’s ‘Cloudbursting’. Meshing Bush with dance music is the kind of out-of-the-box genius that they’ve made a habit of (even Bush must have been impressed; the track is reportedly the only sample she’s ever cleared). Heck, their second album (released in 2000: they’re great but they’re not prolific) sampled Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Metallica and a phone conversation with Michael Stipe. How’s that for eclectic? It means you can look forward to some of the most unique, yet dancefloor-friendly, house tunes around, with added hip-hop, funk, soul, disco and nu-disco. Sounds pretty good to us.
Marty Metcalf and Richie Kidd
The Utahs may be headlining, but kicking off the beach party at 5pm are Dubai regulars Marty Metcalf and Richie Kidd, who’ll be playing a sunshine-friendly set of hip-hop, trip-hop and jazz. Expect a few tributes to the late Guru of Gang Starr fame.
The lead-up to Utah Saints’ set concludes with Da:Funct Soundsystem. If you saw their storming (literally – there were even clouds and wind squalls) set at Chill Out Festival last month, you’ll know what to expect: hip-hop, rock, funk and pop mash-ups from Da:Funct and percussive accompaniment from drummer Matt Grieves. They’ll be joined by rapper Swerte (of The Recipe) and vocalist Gayathri.
Da Sendri, aka Darren Hendry – Daz Hendry, get it? – will be taking over after Utah Saints leave the stage, and you’d better believe he’s got the chops to continue the party. Not only did he run 360°’s excellent soulful house night, Revolve, for years, he’s also an Ibiza regular, holding down a residency at Manumission, among other major clubs.
If you’ve been out at Chi, 360°, Warehouse, Nasimi, Icon or the late lamented Hive over the past few years, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Smokingroove play. A two-man production team and one-man DJ set, Smokingroove’s Chicago-house stylings have made them popular right across the city, as well as in the wider world: the rest of 2010 will see Smokingroove playing in South Africa, the Philippines, and Australia. And it all kicks off here, with the final DJ set of Barasti’s festival.
In the club (10pm-2.30am)
Inside Barasti’s club area, Mach4 will headline with the latest instalment of his travelling GlobalFunk night. The drum ’n’ bass-heavy event was responsible for the storming Roni Size gig last year, which went down so well it received a nomination in our Nightlife Awards. This time it’s Mach4 himself who’s taking centre stage, playing the full spectrum of drum ’n’ bass tunes from old to new.
Da:Funct DJ set
While the Da:Funct Soundsystem collective will be playing the main stage, its leader and DJ, Da:Funct, will be doing a one-man set in the club, warming up for Mach4 with more quality drum ’n’ bass.
Event: Barasti Beach Festival
When: May 14, 5pm-3am